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Spilling forth creativity in the Vail Valley

Caramie Schnell
cschnell@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyVail Valley student Nancy Duenas contributed to Battle Mountain High School's literary magazine
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VAIL, Colorado ” Tales of an infamous golden pen have circulated the halls of Battle Mountain High School courtesy of big-hearted Vail Valley Spanish teacher Don Hohmann. It seems he swallowed a pin. Student editors of Spilled Ink, Battle Mountain High School’s literary publication, convinced Hohmann to write the story down for this year’s edition, which comes out Friday. He did. It’s called “This Too Shall Pass: The Improbable Journey of the Golden Pin.”

“He always tells this story every year about how he accidentally ate a pin,” said Spencer Comerford, one of the Spilled Ink! editors and a Battle Mountain High School senior. “We convinced him to write the story for Spilled Ink! this year and he turned it into an analogy about how students pass through the halls of Battle Mountain… he’s been refusing to tell the story this year so people will buy Spilled Ink.”

When asked about his favorite piece in Spilled Ink, Charles Gladitsch, a Battle Mountain senior and editor, didn’t hesitate.



“Mr. Hohmann’s story. It’s the very first piece in book one and it’s really funny,” he said, smiling. Gladitsch, who will attend the University of Colorado in Boulder in the fall, has two pieces in Spilled Ink ” an essay called “Getting Our Blob On,” and a photo of his sculpture of an elephant, he said.

The 10 editors of the magazine, all seniors at Battle Mountain, received nearly 100 submissions this year, said English teacher Dana Zilliox who oversees Spilled Ink. Around 50 pieces of artwork and writing made the cut. A Spilled Ink release party will take place at Loaded Joes in Avon from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. Artists featured in this year’s edition will have their work on display and writers will read their work aloud.



The publication, which comes in a black cardboard box reminiscent of a cigar box, is filled with two books of essays, poetry, short fiction and individual color reproductions of paintings and other artwork by students and teachers.

“The staff of Spilled Ink develops this publication to provide a voice and platform to those who have something to say, the courage to say it, and the creative means to do so,” reads the message printed in Spilled Ink. “While each piece enclosed is remarkably different from another by format, message, and/or intent, they compliment each other and create an anthology singular to Battle Mountain’s culture.”

Spilled Ink, which began in the early ’90s, was on hiatus for five or six years when Zilliox decided to resurrect it last year, she said.



“I was teaching creative writing at the time and I was so impressed by the student’s writing,” she said. “Our school has provided a myriad of platforms that display our students’ amazing skills in athletics, speech and debate, drama, FBLA, etc., but for a long time now has been silent in showcasing our students’ amazing talents in the arts. Writing, especially, has not been a celebrated practice and that’s a shame because we have gifted writers in our building.”

Zilliox worked on her own school’s literary publication in high school, she said, which also spurred her decision to bring it back.

“It was a very important piece of my development and it was a real special piece of our high school heritage,” she said.

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or cschnell@vaildaily.com.

Who: The BMHS literary-arts publication Spilled Ink

What: Spilled Ink release party. Artists featured in this year’s edition will have their work on display and writers in Spilled Ink will be reading their work aloud.

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Loaded Joe’s in Avon

Cost: Free. Spilled Ink 2008-’09 editions will be available for sale for $10 on Friday only. After Friday, the price will go up.

More information: For more information on the event, call Loaded Joes at 970-748-1480. E-mail dana.zilliox@eagleschools.net for information on Spilled Ink!


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